Gaining a stronger perspective

Dr Katarina Jerbić

Doctor of Philosophy (Humanities)

The thrill of being selected for a privately funded PhD scholarship at Flinders University was tempered by deep private grieving for Croatia’s Katarina Jerbić.

Only weeks before Katarina moved to Australia, her sister Ivana, who had Down syndrome, died of a heart attack. Six months later, her mother was diagnosed with cancer – but Flinders supervisors helped Katarina return to Croatia before she died. “Without my colleagues and supervisors, and the Flinders staff that helped me push through, I would not have been able to get through this difficult time,” says Katarina.

After a decade spent working as an archaeologist in Croatia, Katarina realised the importance of completing her PhD at Flinders to advance her career, and set about exploring every opportunity to bolster her studies. Applying for scholarships and grants was an important skill that Katarina learned.

After receiving the Honor Frost Foundation-Flinders University Doctoral Research Scholarship in 2016, she applied for several other internal and external funding grants. To support her PhD fieldwork in 2017, she obtained Flinders University Research Higher Degree Project Funding, as well as the Trish Ryan Bursary from the Australian Federation of University Women-South Australia.

The combination of a Flinders University Overseas Fieldtrip Grant, the Flinders University Research Student Conference Travel Grant and the Flinders University Student Association Development Grant helped her attend conferences in Paris and Barcelona in 2018, and undertake fieldwork research campaigns in Denmark, Victoria and Tasmania.

Katarina says completing her PhD has helped her obtain a stronger perspective on life. “I finished at a very strange time, when the COVID-19 crisis had just started and I was faced with a very uncertain future – but I’ve realised how lucky I am to have a career where my job is to celebrate and investigate some of the most amazing human accomplishments.”

Find out more on the scholarships at Flinders University that supported Katarina during her PhD.

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